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The psalmist builds his hopes
on God's covenant with David.
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13 Thou hast 6a mighty arm: 18 For 8 the LORD is our defence; A. M. 3405.
strong is thy hand, and high is thy and the Holy One of Israel is our right hand.
King. 14 Justice and judgment are the 'habitation 19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy Holy of thy throne: *mercy and truth shall go before One, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that thy face.
is mighty ; I have exalted one 2 chosen out of 15 Blessed is the people that know the "joyful the people. sound: : they shall walk, O LORD, in the “light || 20 aI have found David my servant; with of thy countenance.
my holy oil have I anointed him : 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: 21 With whom my hand shall be establishand in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. ed: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
17 For thou art the glory of their strength; 22 • The enemy shall not exact upon him; Y and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
6 Heb. an arm with might. - Psa. xcvii. 2.- -? Or, establish- 8 Or, our shield is of the LORD, and our king is of the Holy ment. - Psa. lxxxv. 13.- _u Num. x. 10; xxiii. 21 ; Psalm One of Israel; Psalm xlvii. 9. — ? Verse 3; 1 Kings xi. 34. xcviii. 6. - Psa. iv. 6; xliv. 3.- Verse 24 ; Psa. lxxv. 10; || a 1 Samuel xví. 1, 12.—Psalm lxxx. 17.—62 Samuel vii. xcii, 10; cxxxii. 17.
Shall be fruitful and prosperous, and so give their thy love and favour. Remember, reader, " these inhabitants cause to rejoice ; in thy name--In or by blessings are now become our own; the evangelical thy favour, and the fruits thereof.
trumpet hath sounded through the once heathen Verses 13, 14. Thou hast a mighty arm, &c.- || world; the Sun of righteousness hath risen upon Thy power, extending itself throughout the whole, all nations. Let us attend to the joyful sound ; let always effects, in every place, whatsoever thou de- us walk in the glorious light.”—Horne. signest, and that with an irresistible force; whether Verses 16-18. In thy name shall they rejoice all it be to punish evil-doers, or to preserve and exalt | the day—That is, in the knowledge and remembrance them that do well. Justice and judgment—That is, of thy name, or of thy infinite power and goodness, just judgment, or justice in judging; are the habit- | revealed and imparted to them; and in thy rightation of thy throne, or the basis, or foundation, as eousness—Whereby thou art both inclined, and, in the word jio mechon, is used, Ezra ii
. 68, and iii. 3; some sort, engaged to hear the prayers of thy peoPsa. xcvii. 2, and civ. 5. They are the ground-work || ple, and to save them from all their enemies; or, in of all thy proceedings, and the stability of thy throne and by thy mercy, for righteousness frequently and government. For God could not be the Ruler means mercy; or in and through the obedience unto and Judge of the world if he did not in all things death of him who is the Lord our righteousness, act according to the most perfect righteousness, and is made of God unto us righteousness, and which indeed is the result of his most holy and through the righteousness of faith in him, Rom. iv. righteous nature, Gen. xviii. 25. Mercy and truth 3, 22-24, shall they be exalted—To the dignity of shall go before thy face-As thy harbingers and thy sons and daughters here, and to the heavenly companions whithersoever thou goest. Thou art inheritance hereafter. For thou art the glory of neither unjust, nor unmerciful, nor unfaithful in their strength-All that strength in which they do, any of thy dealings with thy creatures: none shall or may glory, is from thee as the gift of thy grace: be able to say thou doest them any wrong; for thou and to thee alone belongs the glory of all their vicdost not rule the world merely by thy absolute power; || tories over their enemies, and of all their achievebut placest thy principal glory in justice and equity, || ments. In thy favour our horn shall be exalted—The mercy and fidelity; from which thou never swervest. efforts of our power shall be crowned with victory
Verse 15. Blessed are the people, &c.—Next to and success. For the Lord is our defence-Here the praises of Jehovah, is declared the happiness of the psalmist assigns the reason of his confidence, those who have him for their God, who are his wor- that their horn should be exalted. And the Holy shippers and servants, living under his righteous and One of Israel is our King-Having therefore so powmerciful government; that know—That hear, from erful a deliverance and protector, we have no reason time to time, acknowledge and obey; the joyful to despair of our restitution to our former felicity. sound—“The sound of the trumpet, by which the Hebrew, 1322 717.5, to Jehovah belongs our shield, festivals of the Jewish Church were proclaimed, and or, as the margin reads it, our shield is of the Lord, the people were called together to the offices of de- our King is the Holy One of Israel. Our relation to votion;" that is, who have God's word and ordi- | God, as his worshippers and subjects, is the ground nances among them, and are favoured with his pre- || of our confidence for deliverance and protection. sence, and with the tokens of his mercy and grace, If God be our ruler, he will be our defender, and in and by these means; they shall walk, O Lord, in who is he then that can harm us? the light of thy countenance-Being blessed with the Verses 19-22. Then—That is, of old; thou light of truth, and being enabled to walk therein, / spakest in vision-Which then was the usual way they shall live under the comfortable influences of || by which God spake to the prophets; to thy Holy The great blessedness
of the righteous.
A. M. 3405. 23 d And I will beat down his foes 29 • His seed also will I make to A. M. 3405. B. C. 599.
B. C. 599. before his face, and plague them that endure for ever, P and his throne 9 as hate him.
the days of heaven.
24 But • my faithfulness and my mercy shall 30 if his children • forsake my law, and
be with him : and ' in my name shall his horn | walk not in my judgments; be exalted.
31 If they break my statutes, and keep not 25 & Iwill set his hand also in the sea, and his my commandments; right hand in the rivers.
32 Then will I visit their transgression with 26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art "mythe rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. 33 Nevertheless, my loving-kindness 10 will
27 Also I will make him k my firstborn, I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my higher than the kings of the earth.
faithfulness 11 to fail. 28 m My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter and “my covenant shall stand fast with him. the thing that is gone out of my lips.
d 2 Sam. vii. 9. Psa. Ixi. 7.-Verse 17. Psa. lxxii. p Verse 4; Isa. ix. 7; Jeremiah xxxii. 17. Deut. xi. 21. 8; lxxx. 11. h 2 Sam. vii. 14; 1 Chron. xxii. 10.-i2 Sam. r 2 Sam. vii. 14. - Psa. cxix. 53 ; Jer. ix. 13. xxii. 47. - Psalm ii. 7; Col. i. 15, 18.- Num. xxiv. 7. \fane my statutes. - 2 Sam. vii. 14; 1 Kings xi. 31. u 2 Sam. m Isa. lv. 3. n Verse 34.- Verses 4, 36.
vii. 13. 10 Heb. I will not make void from him.
11 Heb. to lie.
One-To thy holy prophets, the singular number to me as such, for all necessary supplies and assistbeing put for the plural; especially to Samuel and ances, which parents willingly afford to their children. Nathan; for part of the following message was de- Verse 27. I will make him my firstborn-As he livered to the former, and part to the latter; I have calls me father, so I will make him my son, yea, my laid help upon one that is mighty—I have provided firstborn; the firstborn had divers privileges above help and relief for my people through a person of other sons. This and the following passage, in some singular courage and wisdom, whom I have pro- sort, agree to David, but are much more fully and perly qualified for so great an undertaking. I have properly accomplished in Christ, and seem to be asexalted one chosen out of the people—One whom Icribed to David here chiefly as he was a type of have singled out as the fittest of all others for the Christ, and that the mind of the reader might be led kingly office. I have found David my servant-In through him to Christ. Higher than the kings of saying I have found, God speaks after the manner the earth–If this be, in some sense, applicable to of men, to intimate the great scarcity of such persons David, because he had a greater power and dominand the difficulty of finding them; with my holy oil ion than any of the neighbouring kings, or because I have anointed him-Both with material oil, (1 Sam. he excelled all other kings of the earth in privileges, xvi. 13; 2 Sam. v. 3,) and with the gifts and graces as he also probably did in honour and renown, obof my Holy Spirit, which are often signified by oil tained by his military achievements, and by that or unction, as Psa. xlv. 7, compared with Isa. Ixi. 1; wisdom and justice by which he governed his do1 John ii. 20, 27. With whom my hand shall be es- minions; and especially because he was a king chosen tablished–That is, constantly abide to protect and and advanced by the immediate appointment of God assist him. The enemy shall not exact upon him— himself; was set over God's peculiar and beloved Not conquer him to make him tributary. Hebrew, people, and was intrusted with the care and patronx 29 x5, lo jashi, shall not deceive, or circumvent age of the true religion and the worship of God in him, as this word is often rendered; nor the son of the world; if, on these accounts, it might be said that wickedness aflict him-Namely, so as to overthrow David was higher than the kings of the earth, how or destroy him.
much more may it be affirmed of him who is King of Verses 24-26. My faithfulness and mercy shall kings, and Lord of lords, and God blessed for ever? be with him-Faithfulness in making good all my Verses 28–34. My mercy-Declared and promised promises to him; and mercy in doing more for him to him and his seed, as it here follows; will I keep than I promised, and in pardoning his sins, for which | for him for evermore, - Nothing shall alter my kind I might justly make him to know my breach of pro- | intentions, but I will mercifully fulfil all my promises mise. And in my name-That is, by my favour and to him; and my covenant shall stand fast, &c.help; shall his horn be exalted—He shall have both of which see notes on 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13. His seed power and victory. I will set his hand also in the will I make to endure for ever- - That is, to sit upon sea--That is, I will extend his dominion, and estab- the throne for ever, as the next words explain it. lish his power over the countries westward, as far as This was accomplished only in Christ, the eternal the Mediterranean sea. And his right hand in the king of the church and of the world, who was of rivers--Namely, eastward, as far as the Euphrates | David's seed according to the flesh. And his throne and Tigris, and the various branches of these rivers. as the days of heaven-As long as the world shall He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father-He shall have a being, or for ever, as was now said. It shall find me to be a true and a kind father to him, and be as unchangeable and durable as the heavens shall familiarly and confidently make his addresses II themselves, which are of an incorruptible nature. The calamities of the
A. M. 3405. 35 Once have I sworn ' by my holi- 42 Thou hast set up the right hand A. M. 3405. B. C. 599.
B. C. 599. ness 12 that I will not lie unto David. of his adversaries; thou hast made 36. His seed shall endure for ever, and his all his enemies to rejoice. throne - as the sun before me.
43 Thou hast also turned the edge of his 37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, || sword, and hast not made him to stand in the and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. battle.
38 But thou hast a cut off and b abhorred, || 44 Thou hast made his 13 glory to cease, and thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. fcast his throne down to the ground.
39 Thou hast made void the covenant of thy | 45 The days of his youth hast thou shortservant: · thou hast profaned his crown byened: thou hast covered him with shame. casting it to the ground.
Selah. 40 a Thou hast broken down all his hedges ; || 46 5 How long, LORD, wilt thou hide thyself ? thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. for ever? h shall thy wrath burn like fire ?
41 All that pass by the way spoil him : he is || 47 i Remember how short my time is: where• a reproach to his neighbours.
fore hast thou made all men in vain ?
* Amos iv. 2. _12 Heb. If I lie. -2 Sam. vii. 16; Luke < Psa. Ixxiv. 7; Lam. v, 16.—d Psa. Ixxx. 12. — * Psa. xliv. i. 33; John xii. 34 ; Verses 4, 29. -z Psa. lxxii. 5, 17; Jer. 13; lxxix. 4.- 13 Heb. brightness. -I Verse 39.— * Psalm xxxiii. 20.-- 1 Chron. xxvii. 9; Psalm xliv. 9; lx. 1, 10. || lxxix. 5. h Psalm lxxviii. 63.i Job vii. 7; x. 9; xiv. 1; b Deut. xxxii. 19; Psa. lxxviii. 59.
Psa. xxxix. 5 ; cxix. 84.
If his children forsake my lav-Of this and the fol- and doth but seldom appear, yet in Scripture is menlowing verses, to verse 34, see the notes on 2 Sam. tioned as God's faithful and perpetual witness, bevii. 14-16.
ing called a token of God's everlasting covenant, Verse 35. Once have I sworn by my holiness, &c. between him and every living creature for perpetual -Here he assigns some reasons why he would not generations, Gen. ix. 12-16. break his covenant with David, though he should Verses 38-45. But thou hast cast off-Having have just cause so to do, and though he had, upon hitherto declared the certainty of God's promises, such just cause, broken his covenant made with oth- he now proceeds to show the unsuitableness of the ers; ist, Because this covenant was confirmed by present dispensations of God's providence thereunto, his oath, which added, not only more solemnity, but and humbly expostulates with God about it. Thou more stability and certainty to it, according to the hast been wroth with thine anointed–That person apostle's reasoning, Heb. vi. 13-18, whereby he and family that thou hast invested with the kingdom. shows that God added an oath to his promise made | Thou hast made void, &c.—Which seems contrary to Abraham, to make and prove it to be immutable; || to thy word given, verse 34. Thou hast profaned and Heb. vii. 20, &c., where he proves the priesthood his crown-By exposing that sacred person, and of Melchisedek to be unchangeable, because it was family, and kingdom to contempt, and giving his confirmed by an oath. And although judgments, sceptre and power into the hands of the uncirsimply threatened, have not always been executed, cumcised. Thou hast broken down all his hedges but sometimes prevented; yet those comminations, | -All the means of his protection and safety. He is which were confirmed by oath, were thereby ren- a reproach to his neighbours-An object of their dered and declared to be irrevocable, as we see Num. scorn and reproach. Is this the anointed of the xiv. 28–30; Jer. xliv. 26. 22, Because God sware Lord? Is this the everlasting family and kingdom? by his holiness ; in or by which he is but seldom Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries said to speak or swear, and when he is, it constantly |— Thou hast given them courage, and power, and adds more weight and confirmation to what is de
Thou hast turned the edge of his sword clared, as Psalm 1x. 6, and cviii. 7; Amos iv. 2. -So that he can neither offend his enemies nor
Verses 36, 37. His throne as the sun before me- defend himself. And hast not made him to standIn respect of perpetual duration, as appears, both But to flee and fall before his enemies; for more is from the foregoing and following words. It shall understood than what is expressed. The days of be established as the moon–As the moon, though his youth hast thou shortened— The youthful and subject to eclipses, and frequent and manifold flourishing estate of David's kingdom
was very changes, yet doth constantly and perpetually remain short, and reached not beyond his next successors; in heaven, as a witness of my covenant of the night, and it had been languishing, by degrees, till this time, as it is called Jer. xxxiii. 20, so shall the house and when it seemed to be dead and buried. kingdom of David continue for ever.
And as a
Verse 47. Remember how short my time is- That faithful witness in heaven-By which may be meant | is, our time, the time of our king and kingdom, in either, 1st, The moon last mentioned, which was to whose name the psalmist put up this petition, and de a faithful witness to this promise of God so long about whom he was much more solicitous than as it continued in the heavens; or the rainbow, about himself
, as is evident, both from the following which, though in itself it be unstable and transient, I verses and from the whole body of the Psalm. The
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48 k What man is he that liveth, || vants; • how I do bear in my bosom 4. M. 3405.
and shall not see death ? shall he the reproach of all the mighty peo-
51 P Wherewith thine enemies have reproach49 LORD, where are thy former loving-kind- || ed, O LORD; wherewith they have
reproached nesses, which thou m swarest unto David ” in the footsteps of thine anointed. thy truth?
52 Blessed be the Lord for evermore, Amen, 50 Remember, LORD, the reproach of thy ser- and Amen.
* Psalm xlix. 9.
Heb. xi. 5. m 2 Sam. vii. 15; Isa. Iv. 3.
» Psa. liv. 5.
• Psalm lxix. 9, 19.- --P Psa. lxxiv. 22. . - Psalm xli. 13.
sense seems to be this: Our king and all his people, | potentates and princes of the world, who now re-
Verses 48-50. What man is he that liveth, and ance of thy people; I do, and will, heartily bless and shall not see death?—All men, at their best estate, praise thee for them, and encourage myself with them, are mortal and miserable; kings and people must not doubting but thou wilt take away all our reunavoidably die by the condition of their natures. proaches, and in thine own due time send Him who Lord, where are thy former loving-kindnesses ?— is the consolation and expectation of Israel, and the Hast thou forgotten or repented of all that mercy desire of all nations. Thus,“ whatever at any time and kindness which thou hast promised and sworn, may be our distress, either as a community, or as and sometimes performed, unto David, and his family | individuals, still we are to believe, still to hope, still and kingdom? Remember, Lord, how I do bear- | to bless, and praise Jehovah, whose word is true, That is, we, thy servants, as he now said, our king whose works are faithful, whose chastisements are and his people, of whom he speaks as of one person; mercies, and all whose promises are, in Christ Jesus, the reproach of all the mighty people—Of the great Il yea and amen, for evermore.”—Horne
Patrick, “ in this, that as those of the first book are most of them ascribed to David, and those of the second, in great part,
The psalmist asserts
the eternity of God.
indeed, but he composed it on occasion of that terrible, but righteous sentence which God passed on that murmuring generation of Israclites, namely, that their carcasses should fall in the wilderness. See Num. xiv. The Psalm, however, is of general use, and is made, by the Church of England, a part of her funeral service. It contains an address to the elernal and unchangeable God, the Saviour and Preserver of his people, 1, 2. A most affecting description of man's mortal and transitory state on earth since the fall, 3–10. A complaint, that few meditate in such a manner upon death as to prepare themselves for it, 11. A prayer for grace so to do, 12. And for the mercies of redemption, 13–17. 'A Prayer ? of Moses the man of God. 4 d For a thousand years in thy sight A. M. 2514.
B. C. 1490. 8. M. 2004: LORD, e thou hast been our dwell- are but as yesterday when it is past,
ing-place 3 in all generations. and as a watch in the night. 2 b Before the mountains were brought forth, 5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the they are as a sleep; in the morning they are world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou like grass which 5 groweth up.
6 8 In the morning it flourisheth, and grow3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and say-| eth up; in the evening it is cut down, and est, < Return, ye children of men.
| Or, A Prayer, being a Psalm of Moses. Deut. xxxiii. 1. a Deut. xxxiii. 27; Ezekiel xi. 16.- -3 Heb. in generation and generation. _b Prov. viii. 25, 26.
e Gen. ii. 19; Eccl. xii. 7. _d 2 Pet. iii. 8.- Or, when he hath passed them. - Psa. lxxiii. 20.- i Psa. ciii. 15; Isa. xl. 6. -5 Or, is changed. -6 Psa. xcii. 7; Job xiv. 2.
NOTES ON PSALM XC.
which is opposed to the partial and false judgment of Verse 1. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place, men, who think time long because they do not un&c.-Although we and our fathers, for some genera- derstand eternity; or, in comparison of thy endless tions, have had no fixed habitation, but have been duration, are but as yesterday, when it is pasistrangers in a land that was not ours, and afflicted Which is emphatically added, because time seems four hundred years; (see Gen. xv. 13 ;) and although long when it is to come, but when it is passed, and we now are, and have been for some time, and must men look back upon it, it seems very short and constill continue, in a vast, howling wilderness, dwelling temptible. And as a watch in the night-Which in tents, and wandering from place to place; yet lasted but three or four hours. thou, Lord, hast been instead of a dwelling-place to Verses 5, 6. Thou carriest them away- Namely, us, by thy watchful and gracious providence over us mankind, of whom he spake verse 3. As with a in all places and exigencies. This is said by way of flood-Unexpectedly, violently, and irresistibly. preface to the Psalm, to intimate that the following They are as a sleep-Short and vain as sleep is, miseries, which came upon them, were not to be and not minded till it be past. Or, like a dream, imputed to God, but to themselves.
when a man sleepeth, wherein there may be some Verse 2. Before the mountains— The most fixed real pleasure, but never any satisfaction; or some and stable parts of the earth; were brought forth— | real trouble, but never considerable, and seldom perThat is, arose out of the waters; or ever thou hadst nicious. Even such an idle and insignificant thing formed the earth, &c.—That is, from eternity, which is human life, considered in itself, and without is frequently described in this manner; even from respect to a future state. They are like grass everlasting thou art God—Thou hadst thy power which groueth up-Which sprouteth out of the and thy perfections from all eternity. And this earth, and becometh more apparent, green, and flou eternity of God is here mentioned for two reasons: | rishing. In the evening it is cut down, and wither1st, That men, by the contemplation thereof, might eth-Here the whole space of man's life is compared be brought to a deeper sense of their own frailty, to one day, and his prosperity to a part of that day, which is the foundation of humility and of all true and ended in the close of it. Thus, in these verses, piety; and to a greater reverence for, and admira- | “the shortness of life, and the suddenness of our detion of, the Divine Majesty. And, 2d, For the com- || parture hence, are illustrated by three similitudes: fort of God's people, who, notwithstanding all their 1st, That of a flood or torrent pouring unexpectedly present miseries, have a sure and everlasting refuge and impetuously from the mountains, and sweeping and portion in him.
all before it in an instant. 2d, That of sleep, from Verse 3. Thou turnest man to destruction—But which when a man awakes, he thinks the time as for man, his case is far otherwise; his time is passed in it to have been nothing. 3d, That of the short; and though he was made by thee happy and grass grown up in the morning, and cut down and immortal, yet for his sin thou didst make him mor- withered in the evening. In the morning of youth, tal and miserable. And sayest-Or, didst say, that fair and beautiful, man groweth up and flourisheth; is, pronounce that sad sentence, Return, ye children in the evening of age (and how often before that of men, namely, to the dust, out of which ye were evening!) he is cut down by the stroke of death; taken.
all his juices, to the circulation of which he stood Verse 4. For a thousand years—If we should now indebted for life, health, and strength, are dried up; live, so long, (as some of our progenitors nearly did,) | he withereth, and turneth again to his earth."in thy sight-In thy account, and therefore in truth; || Horne.